How Kylie Minogue's Went from Car Mechanic to Pop Diva

(Gibson) Aussie pop singer Kylie Minogue scored her fifth U.K #1 single on July 1, 2000 with the Paula Abdul song, "Spinning Around," which prompted the British trade magazine Music Week to announce that Kylie was the only "act" in the history of British pop music to see their first 13 singles go top 10. Over the years, Kylie has sold more than 68 million albums and more than 40 million singles worldwide, won numerous trade awards (ARIAs, Brits and Grammys), and she's been bestowed the U.K.'s most prestigious Order of the British Empire "for services to music." As the Daily Telegraph remarked, "Kylie Minogue is not just a pop star any more; she is a veritable goddess."

The land down under has hardly been a hotbed of international chart hits, which makes Minogue's rise to the top all the more remarkable. She began as a child actress in Australia before winning a role on a TV soap that would provide her with a platform for stardom.

Neighbours, a daily soap set on the fictional Ramsey Street in Melbourne, launched in 1985 and was quickly picked up by the BBC in England. A cut above most daytime series, the show would launch several Aussies to international success, including Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Natalie Imbruglia.

Playing a car mechanic called Charlene, the tiny Minogue (she just tops 5 feet) quickly became a favorite character and signed a record deal in Australia. She released a version of Little Eva's "The Locomotion" and took it to the top spot in Australia. Looking for a wider market, she signed with Britain's pop conveyor belt, Stock, Aitken and Waterman (S.A.W.), the writing and producing empire that gave the world hits by, among others, Bananarama, Dead or Alive, Mel and Kim and the timeless Rick Astley. more on this story

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Kylie Minogue Music and T-shirts and Posters

Kylie Minogue T-shirts and Posters

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